Show Notes: wetflyswing.com/483
In today’s episode, we get up close and personal with the minds behind Echo Fly Fishing: Tim Rajeff, Jarrod Black, and Jamie Hixson. We hear the story of how Echo was founded and discover how they crafted some of the world’s toughest, most durable rods.
Plus, find out why Tim chose to pass the Echo torch to Jarrod and Jamie instead of selling out to the highest bidder. Join us for this inspiring episode that celebrates not only the art of fly fishing but also the lasting friendships it creates.
Echo Fly Fishing Show Notes
03:21 – Echo Fly Fishing was established in 2001 by Tim Rajeff alongside Jarod and Katherine. Jamie Hixson joined the Echo team later in 2005, but his friendship with Jarrod dates back even before that.
04:40 – We hear the story behind Tim’s decision to stick with Jarrod and Jamie instead of selling out to the highest bidder. Tim remains an integral part of Echo Fly Fishing, dedicating his expertise to what he does best – rod design.
07:30 – Jarrod and Tim’s partnership traces back to their 15-year stint at G. Loomis Fishing Rods before they founded Rajeff Sports to distribute Airflo Fly Lines. Their collaboration with Airflo lasted for 20 years until they decided to part ways in August 2020.
Meet the Echo Team
12:34 – Jarrod lived in an industrial town in Washington where there was a huge manmade lake. He and Jamie would use hotdog buns on a fly rod to target and catch carp.
16:50 Jarrod shares that the lack of affordable and quality fly gear influenced his decision to work at G. Loomis. When Echo was founded, it became a priority for him to make fly fishing more accessible to more people.
18:00 – Feeling burned out from his project manager role at a steel manufacturer and his 3D modeling job, Jamie reached out to Jarrod, who offered him a part-time position at Echo, which quickly turned into a full-time role.
Now, with 18 years under his belt at Echo, Jamie’s engineering background has proven invaluable as he and Tim work together to design exceptional Echo products.
23:20 – Despite growing up in a non-fly fishing town in California, Tim was just a short 5-minute walk away from the renowned Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club, where the foundations of modern fly fishing equipment were developed.
Alongside his brother, who became a world casting champion, they had already been fishing when they stumbled upon the club and discovered a passion for the sport.
Echo Fly Rods
26:23 – The Echo team shares valuable insights about their target customer and how they succeeded in creating rods at a lower price point. They take us behind the scenes of their rod conceptualization process.
Additionally, we dive into the Shadow X Fly Rod, a product developed in collaboration with Pete Erickson for competition use.
43:40 – We get to the heart of the matter and ask the Echo team about the secret behind their durable rods.
52:00 – We also explore the evolution of Echo Fly Fishing’s rods and the common reasons a rod would break. Tim emphasizes that most rods break at the tip. Because of this, his team set up a program where you can easily request a replacement tip online.
1:10:40 – During our conversation, the Echo team shares the inspiration and concept that gave birth to their iconic logo.
1:13:20 – Tim reveals the secret behind the Micro Practice Rod, which he shares was inspired by Joan and Lee Wulff’s Fly-O.
1:17:00 – Of course, we seize the opportunity to learn casting tips from the master himself, Tim Rajeff. We dive into the double haul technique and explore valuable insights on how to improve our casting skills.
Show Notes: wetflyswing.com/483